President Emmanuel Macron, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, has posted a video message on social media to say he is doing well and continuing to work on matters such as Brexit while in self-isolation.
He is currently self-isolating at La Lanterne, a hunting lodge in Versailles that serves as an official presidential residency.
Emilie Lanez, a leading reporter for weekly magazine Paris Match, described the location as the most secretive place in France as it is where presidents and prime ministers go to spend private moments with their families.
Macron posted the video of himself in an office looking more casual than usual, sporting a turtleneck jumper rather than his normal suit.
The video lasts just over three minutes during which the president makes assurances that he is doing well despite being fatigued and having a dry cough.
He also asked for people to keep practising barrier gestures and social distancing measures to avoid getting the virus, especially during the festive period.
Below, we translate the main parts of his message.
After testing positive…”I immediately self-isolated as health rules ask us to do, I registered [my positive test] on TousAntiCovid...so that the application could signal to all my contact cases and they could be identified and the Élysée called all the contact cases that we know of and who I have met with during the past 48 hours.
“I want to thank you all for all your messages of support, sympathy and solidarity that you have sent. I want to reassure you that I am fine.
“I have the same symptoms as yesterday, fatigue, headaches, a dry cough, like hundreds of thousands of you who have had to live with this virus or who are living with it today
“I will report to you every day on the progress of the disease. There is normally no reason for it to progress badly, but I am under medical supervision and I will report to you in a completely transparent manner.
“For the rest, I will of course continue to manage day-to-day business in conjunction with the prime minister, the government and my teams.
“My activity has slowed down a bit, because of the virus, but I continue to take care of the priority issues, whether it is the epidemic and its management for our country, or for example, Brexit.
“Continue to take care.
“I tested positive, which shows that the virus can really affect everyone, because I'm very protected, I'm very careful, I respect barrier gestures, distances, I wear a mask, I use hydroalcoholic gel regularly and, despite everything, I caught this virus
“Probably through a moment of negligence, a moment of bad luck too, but that's the way it is.
“Yesterday, along with me, 18,000 people in France tested positive for the virus. So, the virus is starting up again even stronger. So we need to be vigilant, we need to take care of each other."
A citizen’s collective to follow the vaccination campaign
Mr Macron’s positive Covid-19 test comes as the government announces it will choose 30 people in France at random who will form a citizen’s collective to provide transparency on the country’s vaccination roll-out.
The group will be chosen in January and will support the country’s vaccination campaign, in the hope of convincing skeptics of its safety and usefulness.
Emmanuel Rusch, president of the Conférence Nationale de Santé, an advisory body to the Ministry of Health, said the citizen’s group is a “useful tool”.
“Mobilising a group of citizens is a complementary way to strengthen democracy in health and mutual understanding of vaccination,” he told FranceInfo.
He said, though, that he regrets that the group was not established weeks or months ago.